Lake Hattie near Laramie closed to allow aircraft to fight Mullen Fire - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Lake Hattie near Laramie closed to allow aircraft to fight Mullen Fire

“Super Scooper” fixed-wing aircraft in Shoshoni National Forest in 2017 (US Forest Service file photo)

CASPER, Wyo — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) has closed Lake Hattie near Laramie Tuesday, Sept. 22, to watercraft use, effective immediately.

The temporary closure is necessary to allow several specialized aircraft to collect water from the lake to help with the Mullen Fire suppression efforts, WGFD said in a release Tuesday.

The aircraft, commonly called Super Scoopers, are fixed wing aircraft that fly at high rates of speed — approximately 100 mph — just above the surface of a lake or reservoir. In ten seconds, these aircraft can scoop as much as 1,600 gallons of water into a tank in the ‘belly’ of the plane, WGFD said. These planes expedite the time it takes to load water and strategically make water drops on fires in nearby locations.

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The boating restriction is currently slated to last indefinitely as the need for water resources will continue as efforts to fight the fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest progress. 

Anglers can continue fishing from the shore. As soon as the limits to watercraft access change, an announcement will be posted on the Game and Fish website. 

The Mullen Fire is currently 13,504 acres with minimal containment. More details can be found on the Mullen Fire webpage.